On The Horizon

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Author Comments

My first newgrounds submission!

I am TheoryGuy, a currently working composer/arranger that writes for a variety of ensemble types and mediums. I specialize in wind ensemble work and TV/Film/Game composition.

"On The Horizon" is part of my professional portfolio and is a short, cinematic orchestral track in a sci-fi/fantasy vein. It begins with low strings and percussive effects to set a chilling mood but quickly gives way to a solo horn introducing the main theme. The orchestra comes in shortly thereafter and develops the theme to its conclusion, ending in a return to the more mysterious low strings that fade away.

To construct this piece, I utilized the following:

- Sequencing of the score itself was done with Sibelius 6.
- VSTs used were ProjectSam's Orchestral Essentials and Kontakt 5's built-in sound library.
- The sampler was Kontakt 5.
- The DAW was Reaper.

Thank you for taking the time to listen!


Composition-wise, this is quite a nice piece. I liked the way you progressed the chords, and they really set the mood well. There is, however, still room for improvement.

I personally don't recommend using Sibelius as your main sequencer, basically because that's not its main purpose. It's great for writing your scores with, but when it comes down to the actual production part, it's much better to work with a proper Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) like Cubase, Pro Tools, Sonar, Reaper, Logic etc. The main reason for this suggestion, is that it makes MIDI editing 'much' easier and it will allow you to achieve much more realism in your productions. Although the composition was quite nice, it still sounded a bit artificial during some parts.

There are also a few things mastering-wise that bother me a bit. The strings are rather hard-panned, which makes it somewhat unnatural to listen to. Yes, basses are usually seated at the right sight and violins at the left side, but now it sounds like I'm actually standing in the middle of the orchestra, which sounds a bit awkward, to be honest. Apart from that, the reversed cymbals (?) are also a bit too loud and are more of a distraction than a contribution to the song.

Apart from that, not much that I can say, really. The composition itself sounded fairly professional and the piece would work well in films / games.

Keep up the good work!

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TheoryGuy responds:

Thanks for taking the time to review!

I use Sibelius first because I very much need to "see" my scores as I write them. It helps considerably with my vertical thinking and allows me to see the theory on the page in motion. Once I am satisfied with the work as a compositional effort, I recreate the sound in Reaper. I just figured some credit was due to Sibelius since I do indeed use it to start projects.

Audio engineering is still fairly new to me. I've made my entire career up to this point by writing for actual ensembles, which has served me well. I always welcome thoughts and comments about how to gain more skills at audio production. My degree is in composition, not engineering or production, after all!

Really good stuff. Sounds professional.
I especially like the crashes at 1:15. Personally could never get strings and horns just right so good on you. definiatly one of my favs

People find this review helpful!
TheoryGuy responds:

Thanks for the comments! I will make sure to return the favour.

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Credits & Info


4.26 / 5.00

Jan 18, 2013
12:46 AM EST
File Info
2.2 MB
2 min 23 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.